Add this one to the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel category: All but lost in the annals of bad breath history are the five years, from 1927 to 1932, that one prominent mouthwash brand sold its own line of cigarettes.
No, we're not kidding. Look it up, kids, because this one's 100-percent true.
In 1927, a mouthwash-brand-who-must-not-be-named (sorry, Harry Potter humor) unveiled its own line of "specialty" mentholated cigarettes. The product was advertised as having a great taste, being "medicated," soothing the throat and reducing bad breath.
Some of the ad copy that emerged from this five-year period is legendary even today:
- "Impregnated with the essence of antiseptic, these cigarettes are just the thing for 'super-sensitive throats.'"
- "[These] cigarettes are not to be confused with medicated cigarettes, whose essences are so pronounced that they annoy the habitual smoker."
- "Among the users of [You-Know-Who's] cigarettes are several thousands who smoke them primarily because they relieve congestion in the nasal passages."
These ad men were no Don Drapers, clearly. And as you might imagine, mouthwash-brand cigarettes did not catch on, even in the decadent Roaring Twenties. The packs vanished from shelves in just half a decade.
What's interesting is that the pitch for these cigarettes is, while totally misleading and resting on shameful lies, based on real principles of oral health.
So, for example, consider the claim that these cancer sticks "relieve congestion in the nasal passages." Post-nasal drip really is a common cause of halitosis. The same goes for that mention of "antiseptic": to alleviate bad breath, it's important to rinse away bacteria with an oxygenating, alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash. This is why many people invest in specialty breath freshening nasal sprays and mouth rinses that alleviate odor.
One thing that does not relieve oral stench? Smoking. If you want to avoid halitosis, don't use tobacco - even the kind made by mouthwash brands.